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It’s Hard to Feel Down When You’re Looking Up

In my early 20’s I can recall driving with a dear friend to the West coast from the Midwest, and many times during that journey she would spot a flock of geese…or ducks…or an eagle soaring overhead. Her eyes were on the road but also on the expanse of sky before us. It seemed curious to me how she could identify birds from such a distance but I also realized that I hadn’t noticed them! I began to wonder how often I even looked up at the sky? My attention, and my energy, it seemed, went to that which was before me…school, sports, and my family and friends. I didn’t know the power that gazing up held…until years later.

I was going through a break-up and was so very sad and depressed! I cried every day for an entire year—no exaggeration! I didn’t want my sensitive, happy pup to pick up my depressed energy so I tried not to blubber around her…but she knew…or so it seemed. I would catch her concerned expression on our walks as she retreated from the woods to look at me, her sad eyes mirroring mine. I began to implore my Angels and Guides, “Please help me! What can I do to help myself?” And one day…in the silence of the trees… with tears streaking down my face… I heard their voice, “Look up! … and smile!!!” I was in such a funk, I remember thinking something like, “That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? I’m hurting here!!!” (Yes, I am sure that I exhaust my Angelic Posse!)

At first, I thought that they were merely saying to cheer up…that my situation would improve. And I’m sure that that was a part of it…but as I walked further on the path, I heard a sound and came upon my pup standing perfectly still. I followed her gaze up to a barren tree and saw it. A beautiful, majestic, feathered friend…a bald eagle! I felt my heart swell! I was soooo grateful to be in its presence and so thankful to my pup for sharing it with me! It was in that moment that I understood my Angels’ message, “Look up…and smile!”

It truly is hard to feel down when you’re looking up! It sounds soooo simple…and it is! Think about it. When we are depressed or feeling melancholy, where is our gaze? Typically, downward. Likewise, our body posture follows suit—our shoulders are slumped…we wear a sad expression on our face—the corners of our mouth are drawn down…even our movements are slower…the cadence to our speech is more sedate…etc.

Studies have shown that we can consciously shift the way we feel simply by altering our body language and mimicking a “happy” body. By that, I mean, standing tall with shoulders back…putting a smile on—faking it is fine!...and setting our eyes to the skies! Adding to that, being out in nature and letting Earth Mother love us with all of her beauty will fill our souls. Finally, by allowing thoughts of gratitude to fill our minds, our brains will start to release that “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine, into our systems. It is amazing, to me, how transforming that is and how much it helped me at such a dark and sad place in my life!

So now when I’m feeling confused or a bit sad, I follow the sage wisdom from my team of Angels and Guides… I look up…and smile! And know that all is well…ALL is wonderful!!!